Vision: Giving Purpose to our Pain

Dear Cornerstone Family,

Over the few weeks preceding Christmas break, I had been discussing with our high school men the importance of having a "vision" for their lives.  Not just a vision for college or for a vocation, although both are very important, but a vision for how they will be remembered and the kind of impact they want to have on their community. 

I made it clear that having a vision would go beyond helping them plan ahead for the various steps required to achieve it.  Holding onto a great vision, especially if it is a vision from God, would give purpose to any pain in their lives.  I believe the Bible teaches that all life's struggles, if understood as a means to achieving a grander vision, give purpose to those struggles.  God didn't give Noah a boat; he gave him the plans to build a boat.  Clearly, God had two things in mind: to get a boat ready and to shape Noah's life in the process.  This very difficult task helped prepare Noah for something great - the saving of creation. 

The stories of our students can often take your breath away.  So many have already experienced levels of pain and heartbreak that most of us are unlikely to experience in a lifetime.  My prayer is that they can turn these trials into stepping stones on their way to doing something great for God... and not let the painful experiences become an excuse for limited visions or inaction.

In one of my last meetings with the high school men, as I was again pushing them to pursue a grand vision for their lives, one of the men declared, "Mr. Max, I just want to grow up and find one woman I am going to love passionately the rest of my life, have kids, and be the father to my children that I never had."  This impromptu response was met with high fives, clapping, and cheers from the other young men.  Such a simple - yet profound - vision.  If carried out by all the students of Cornerstone, it would surely be an enormous step in restoring our community.  A far better answer than I was imagining!

As the year comes to an end, won't you consider an investment in our students' lives?  An investment in Cornerstone is an investment in the visions of our students and will surely have eternal consequences.


Merry Christmas!



Derrick Max 

Executive Director 

202-575-0027 Ext. 104